There’s something extremely interesting about watching a Kennedy in the process of being a Kennedy. Tragically, funerals seem second nature to this family. They’ve had many opportunities to fine tune this almost preternatural ability to mourn with grace and dignity.
Because it seems death has never taken a holiday from menacing the Kennedy family on a fairly regular basis, one might ask (as one has many times before) is there a curse attached to Joseph Kennedy’s extended family?
Who can say, but I would think you take your chances when you’re wife gives birth to nine children. Then, those nine grow up to become equally prolific. The larger the family; the more your increase your odds that well, in the simplest of terms, shit is going to happen.
It is true that some Kennedy’s seem to die more tragically then most people, though. Joe Jr. died in the midst of a military mission. Kathleen died in a plane crash in the mid-40’s, Rosemary was born a tad slower than the rest of her siblings and her very proud father who couldn’t handle having a daughter who wasn’t as full of the same “vim, vitality and uh, viguh” like his other children, had her lobotomized. John and Robert were murdered; one while in the Oval Office; the other while trying to get there. There were the overdoses, the car accidents; the skiing mishap, the illnesses, the rape trial and of course, John Jr’s. plane crash.
What kills Kennedy’s? Arrogance might be a factor, but plain old life and it’s “luck of the draw” randomness plays a role, to.
I wouldn’t think it easy to be a member of this clan. I would think it to be quite touch in fact. The legacy of public service; that of achievement. I would find it daunting to be a Kennedy. Yet, they come together for family events..the happy evens and the sad ones and each seem to know the role they play.
Teddy knew his. He assumed the role of patriarch after Bobby was killed in 1968. That only made him more visible and that only amplified the many mistakes he made in life. Well, that and simply being potential headline that every Kennedy seems to be.
I knew several people who refused to watch the funeral because they couldn’t separate the man from his misdeeds. I won’t chastise them for that. Free will, you know? Despite my feelings for the man, his actions and his politics, I decided to watch his funeral because if for nothing else, there is something fascinating about watching this family as they try to hold the unit together…even though it slowly shrinks by attrition and time.
Just on a surface level, I must say this: the organ playing left much to be desired. I’ve never sat down at a huge, wall-to-wall Wurlitzer before and I’ve never tried to play one. I can imagine that the prowessand dexterity needed to play must be incredible. OK, I’ll give you that, but I do believe dexterity was an issue today, because I think I heard some “misplays” on the keys.
Secondly, did anyone else notice how hollow and old Bill Clinton is looking? He’s pale and his stark, ruddy looking nose and a swollen, reddish face only contrasts the difference. Why the red nose I wonder? Well, I could venture about three decent guesses, but I won’t. Not here; not now. Plus, as Clinton was standing in a pew, holding a funeral card, his hand shook vehemently. Palsy-like. It was odd.
And frankly, during the Intercession of Prayers when younger family members stood up and offered them, I was made a little uneasy and frankly, I didn’t appreciate the way they were politicized. Health care was mention–that it should be a right and not a privilege.
One child mentioned his uncle’s desire to end all war.
Basic human rights for every one: man, woman…gay and straight.
Then, Obama stood up before God and man and hit home more agenda driven comments that he should have omitted.
I’m all for peace. I’m all for decent health care that makes sense to every American and not some knee jerk response to asuage a political mind set. I love my gay friends and wish them access to tha which makes them happy and feel equal.
But to extol these things out of the mouths of young children and in a Catholic church at a funeral for a man who’s own life was often tarnished by his own actions????
If rhetoric like this was spewed forth during a Conservative’s funeral, the media would be all over it.
Funerals are a signifying event which in no uncertain terms, commemorate a life lived; the ultimate indication of change.
They are not, nor should they ever be political rallies.
Ted Kennedy’s life was not exemplary, regardless of how his family and political colleagues try to paint it post script. His funeral never should have been as polarizing as his life had been and personally, I found many of the comments quite polarizing…especially in that they well placed during a nationally televised broadcast of a funeral.
That said, his life should have ended differently–his painful battle with brain cancer not withstanding. This is just my opinion only, but there should have been more across the board closure involved with this ceremony of closure.
And sadly, politicizing a funeral mass was not the way to do it.